Pat Miletich is the latest inductee to the UFC Hall of Fame.
The 48-year old Miletich had an almost incalculable influence on the sport of mixed martial arts, first as one of the sport's great fighters and then as the head of one of the first true elite MMA gyms.
The pride of Bettendorf, Iowa was the first holder of what is now known as the UFC welterweight title, currently held by Johny Hendricks. On Oct. 16, 1998, Miletich won what was then called the lightweight title by defeating Mikey Burnett via split decision at Ultimate Brazil (alternately called UFC 17.5).
Miletich dominated the lighter weight classes through the sport's dark ages and into the beginnings of the Unified Rules era, successfully defending the title four times before losing the belt to Carlos Newton at UFC 31.
Soon thereafter, Miletich slowed down his in-ring activities to dedicate his time to his thriving gym back home in Bettendorf. Miletich Fighting Systems produced several UFC champions, from Hall of Fame welterweight champ Matt Hughes to two-time heavyweight champ Tim Sylvia to lightweight champ Jens Pulver. The gym remains in operation today and is home to current Invicta flyweight champ Barb Honchak.
Miletich fell out with the UFC when he accepted an offer to join the International Fight League in the middle of the past decade. Miletich had his last career fight in the IFL, knocking out Thomas Denny in 2008 and retiring with a documented record of 29-7-2. His absence from the UFC Hall of Fame had been considered by many longtime observers as a glaring hole in the Hall's credibility.
White indicated that Miletich will be the only induction into the Hall of Fame at this weekend's UFC Fan Expo at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas.
Miletich becomes the 12th inductee into the UFC Hall of Fame, which also includes Royce Gracie, Ken Shamrock, Dan Severn, Randy Couture, Mark Coleman, Chuck Liddell, Charles "Mask" Lewis, Hughes, Tito Ortiz, Forrest Griffin, and Stephan Bonnar.